Egypt welcomes US-Russia cessation of hostilities in Syria

Ahram Online , Tuesday 23 Feb 2016

Egypt's FM spokesperson said the agreement is a step forward in resolving the Syrian crisis

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry attends a press conference on January 13, 2016 in Berlin (AFP)

Egypt's foreign ministry said Tuesday that the "cessation of hostilities" agreed upon by the United States and Russia is an important step to facilitate delivery of UN humanitarian aid to the Syrian people and is necessary to reach a political settlement.

The United States and Russia agreed on Monday to the terms of the partial ceasefire, which will come into effect Saturday 27 February.

As per an agreement between the two countries on 12 February, the Syrian regime and opposition groups, who will announce their agreement by Friday at noon, would commit to a "cessation of hostilities."

The foreign ministry spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid said in a statement that the agreement is necessary in order to "end violence and provide a suitable environment for a political solution under the auspices of the UN in order to reach a full agreement for a ceasefire."

Egypt's foreign minister Sameh Shoukry reiterated this month that there is no solution to the five-year Syrian conflict other than a political settlement through the United Nations.

The spokesperson said the next phase will require the commitment of all parties to put the agreement into effect, as it is necessary to put the Syrian people's interests first.

The statement emphasised the importance of fighting "terrorist organisations" in Syria.

The agreement does not include the Islamic State group and Al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat Al-Nusra. 

"The last hours have seen intense calls by the American and the Russian sides," the foreign ministry's statement read.

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